Port of Portland


Portland, OR


Stormwater Engineering, Environmental Engineering

Responsible for the management of Portland International Airport (PDX), two general aviation airports, and multiple marine terminal ports in the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area, the Port of Portland sought to develop a comprehensive and integrated approach to stormwater management at their facilities. Having worked on multiple projects for the client for over a decade, the Port called on Gresham Smith to lead the creation of its 20-year, multifacility master plan for the management of stormwater. Developed over a three-year period, the master plan established a uniform means of implementing stormwater management features and managing assets both currently and in the future.

principal work products
acres of Port of Portland property
diverse Port facilities
Planes wait at gate at Portland International Airport

An Ambitious Undertaking

One of the most ambitious stormwater master planning efforts ever attempted by an owner of airport and marine facilities, the comprehensive project covers 6,000 acres of Port of Portland property. The program required stormwater planning for nine diverse Portland-area facilities, including PDX, four marine terminals and four industrial facilities.

Person using tape measure at stormwater outlet

A Foundation for the Future

Flexing our investigative skills, we began by delving into the Port’s information database, exploring regulatory requirements, future compliance issues, GIS data and past construction plans. This supporting work ultimately resulted in five principal work products—Stormwater Master Plans, Regulatory Compliance and Strategy Plans, Stormwater Asset Management Plans, Stormwater Models and a Stormwater Design Standards Manual—that formed the foundation for the Port’s future efforts.

Green infrastructure components seen in field near airport

Promoting Sustainability

Sustainability and green infrastructure were also taken into consideration as part of the master planning effort, with Gresham Smith evaluating a wide range of water quality and quantity best management practices (BMPs) with green components for possible use in future stormwater development.

Aerial view of Portland International Airport and runway

A Winning Alliance

Establishing a true partnership with the client was a vital element in the project’s execution and in the Port’s improved process for managing stormwater in the future. It allowed our team to work closely with various Port departments, facilities and tenants, as well as external entities. It also set the stage for ongoing collaboration between the Port and Gresham Smith to support decision-making on stormwater regulations, stormwater model use and the implementation of stormwater management measures.

View of Portland International Airport from a distance showing control tower and snow-capped mountain

Effective and Targeted

Setting the standard for a variety of projects over the next 20 years, Gresham Smith’s Integrated Stormwater Master Plan equips the Port of Portland with effective, targeted plans for long-term stormwater management that are now an integral part of their planning, operational, maintenance and project implementation process. The principal work products will reduce the client’s future safety and operational risks, provide specific information for the long-term capital planning process, and instill confidence that innumerable applicable regulations will be met in the foreseeable future.